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Full text of "To The Lighthouse"

TO   THE   LIGHTHOUSE

that after all he knew both the Mannings and the
Ramsays. He had not drifted apart, he thought,
laying down his spoon and wiping his clean shaven
lips punctiliously. But perhaps he was rather
unusual, he thought, in this; he never let himself
get into a groove. He had friends in all circles.
. . . Mrs. Ramsay had to break off here to tell
the maid something about keeping food hot.
That was why he preferred dining alone. All
these interruptions annoyed him. Well, thought
William Bankes, preserving a demeanour of
exquisite courtesy and merely spreading the
fingers of his left hand on the table-cloth as a
mechanic examines a tool beautifully polished and
ready for use in an interval of leisure, such are the
sacrifices one's friends ask of one. It would have
hurt her if he had refused to come. But it was
not worth it for him. Looking at his hand he
thought that if he had been alone dinner would
have been almost over now; he would have been
free to work. Yes, he thought, it is a terrible
waste of time. The children were dropping in
still. " I wish one of you would run up to Roger's
room," Mrs. Ramsay was saying. How trifling
it all is, how boring it all is, he thought, compared
with the other thingówork. Here he sat
drumming his fingers on the table-cloth when he
might have beenóhe took a flashing bird's-eye
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